Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Review: Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand

Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Roses #1) by Laura Florand
Publication date: January 26th 2015
My rating: 5 stars 
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She stole his roses.

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

He wants them back.

Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?

Or maybe he just wants her.

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

My Thoughts:
Reading Once Upon a Rose was a pure delight! I was laughing one minute, and pulled under by a wave of lust the next, but the overall tone was happy, and I just couldn’t keep from smiling the entire time I read.  I LOVED Matt and Layla’s romance! 

Big, growly and gruff, Matthieu Rosier is the patriarchal heir to the Rosier valley of roses that supply perfume houses with the petals to make their fragrant concoctions. It’s his valley...well most of it is.  Matt gets the shock of his life when a small, curly-haired temptress crashes his birthday party and shakes up his world.

Layla Dubois aka rock-star ‘Belle Woods’ is in need of rest and privacy after feeling burned out and unable to write songs for a new album.  A letter and an inheritance brings her to Provence, back to her family’s roots, and Layla thinks it’s the perfect place to regenerate incognito.  She didn’t realize she’d encounter big and gorgeous Matthieu Rosier and find all his growliness such a turn on. 

Layla’s inheritance throws an immediate road block up between her and Matthieu’s immediate attraction, but it’s less of a wedge than you might think.  Every time I thought a huge outburst was coming, Layla would surprise and sooth any problem away.  Yes, there was plenty of growling on Matt’s part, but mostly he was just a big, cuddly teddy-bear in disguise, one that demanded a good squeeze!

It must take a lot of growling to hide a heart tender enough to make roses.

Their romance was at times antagonistic and so much fun! At others, it was full of sensuality, intense want, and passion! Who knew a rose could be so erotic?! Even though Matt and Layla’s relationship developed over a short period of time it still felt like a slow, steady burn as they got to know each other. 

Once Upon a Rose had the least amount of angst or heartache compared to her other books,but
Ms. Florand still managed to make me cry at one point with Tante Collette’s stories. They were very moving and I can totally understand her decision in regards to the Rosier land. 

I took my time reading Once Upon a Rose.  I wanted to savor each passage, revel in the feelings
Ms. Florand coaxes out of me every time I read one of her novels.  I have so many favorite scenes and passages highlighted, and I especially loved the alien photo scene! “Tata! Did you get out—Tata! Not the alien photo.” Leave it to family to utterly embarrass by sharing old photos!  Haha! See, just so much fun!

Once Upon a Rose is the first story in Laura Florand’s newest series, and we have several more cousins in need of some loving. Tristan Rosier’s story is next and I can’t wait!

 Other books in the world of the Roses series:

Gabriel & Jolie's story. 
A prequel to the Vie en Roses series:

 (Click on covers for Goodreads link)

The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, #3; La Vie en Roses, #1)   


Daniel & Lea's story:
(La Vie en Roses #0.1)

Turning Up the Heat

Raoul Rosier & Allegra's story:
(La Vie en Roses #1.5)

No Place Like Home (Includes: La Vie en Roses, #1.5)


Laura Florand burst on the contemporary romance scene in 2012 with her award-winning Amour et Chocolat series. Her books have appeared in ten languages, been named among the Best Books of the Year by Romantic Times and Barnes & Noble, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

After a Fulbright year in Tahiti and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, and several years living in Madrid and Paris, Laura now teaches Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, this means she primarily teaches French language and culture and does a great deal of research on French gastronomy, particularly chocolate. For more information, please see her website:

Connect with Laura Florand:


Haddock said...

The author's backpacking must have helped her to pick up ideas while writing.

Brandie said...

I'm so glad I bought this book because I saw how much you were enjoying it! It sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read it! Great review, Rachel!!

Anonymous said...

I promise I will read something by this author, Rachel! I love the sound of this one and I'm always up for a growling man in a book! ;)
"Yes, there was plenty of growling on Matt’s part, but mostly he was just a big, cuddly teddy-bear in disguise, one that demanded a good squeeze!"
Your review should have just had this sentence! It would have been more than enough to make me want to read the book. :D
Lovely review, Rachel!

Joy said...

Lmao!! Love the synopsis. Definitely more light-hearted than Laura's norm. Also, I've been waiting to read your review on this! I wanted to know if you'll love it first before I buy it. So yay! I'm going to purchase this for tonight's reading. :)

Jenny said...

A huge yay for antagonistic relationships! Well ones that feel tense and fun which this one clearly does, not a fan of antagonistic relationships full of drama and angst. I still haven't read anything by this author which is clearly an epic fail on my part, but I think this might be the perfect place to start:)

Keertana said...

So glad you enjoyed this, Rachel! Florand has been writing a lot of darker, more tear-jerky romances lately so this was a really pleasant surprise into a love story that was all fun and banter and swoon. I know I'll be re-reading it for sure and just can't get enough of these two. And those roses! So excited we'll be getting more Rosier books because those men are HAWT. ;) Lovely review, dear!

Faye M. said...

Girl, your enthusiasm for this book is basically leaping off the post and into my heart. You definitely got me convinced, especially since Rashika adores this author, too. You know the writing is mad good when two characters fell for each other in a short amount of time but it still feels meaningful and genuine!

Faye at the Social Potato

Unknown said...

I've never read a book by Laura Florand but they sound so so beautiful. I really need to give her a shot! I think this would be a good place to start, so at least I wouldn't feel like I was so far behind in a series. Matt sounds suuuuuper lovely.
Great review, Rachel! Thank you for sharing. :)

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

God, she's an amazingly descriptive writer, isn't she? I mean, her writing puts you right there in the setting and so close to the characters you can practically touch them. So awesome.

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle said...

This author is the master at adding the rich flavors, culture and atmosphere of France to her stories. Now roses! GAH! I'm so behind. I'm a sucker for celebrity romances and ones that start antagonistically, so all of that sounds AMAZING. Plus you saying this book contains the "least amount of angst or heartache." UGH I wish I wasn't so overwhelmed with everything else I have to read! I need to devote a few weeks just to this author. I bet she'd make me HAPPY.

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